OF FAITH AND FABLES – August 2009

OF FAITH AND FABLES

By Bob Haynes

Seven God-Given Basic Needs Of Man

 

RETIREMENT: What a wonderful word, we thought, as we stepped down from our professions in the marketplace. And, for a while it was indeed like the song “What a Wonderful World.” Then we began to deal with something we hadn’t had to deal with for some time—boredom. As we looked around we saw other people actively involved in ‘things’ or ‘activities’ or ‘hobbies’ that seemed to satisfy them. We wondered what it was that we needed to do to ‘wake up’ our lives.

Then by chance, we stumbled on this Bible verse: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and care for it.” That must be it, we said. Perhaps we need to really get more involved in this community and area and by doing so we can “lose ourselves” so we can “find ourselves.”

Many of us learned about Maslow’ hierarchy of needs when we were in college; however, what we are dealing with now in retirement is perhaps even more essential to us. Oz Hillman, the author of TGIF -a daily devotional on the internet—had this to say: “Man was created to have seven basic needs. Each of us has a need for dignity, authority, blessing and provision, security, purpose and meaning, freedom and boundary, intimate love and companionship. When we go outside God’s provision to meet these needs we get into trouble.”

The danger, said Hillman, is not including God in our daily lives. No matter how active or inactive we are, that exclusion will mean that what we are doing can become our sole source of purpose. And that leads to a performance-based life. That’s a subtle trap, he said. What happens then is we become fixated and subconsciously think that we are acceptable to others only when we perform well in our work. Our values begin to be linked solely with our job or business. Our values then are not centered in the Lord. When troubles come (and they do) we are devastated unless God is our central focus. As we retirees strive to become more active and involved, perhaps we should heed Hillman’s advice.

Here in the Lake Chapala area one can find large numbers of people who practice an active lifestyle of participation. However, there are others—just as talented or gifted or whatever you want to call it—that are bored and are, in all honesty, just wasting time away.

Psychologist Roger Elliott, put it this way: “No man is an island —Without regular quality contact with other people, mental condition, emotional state and behavior can suffer quite drastically.”

Elliott’s version of the seven basic needs include: (1) The need to give and receive attention; (2) Being aware of the importance of the connection between our mind and body; (3) The need for purpose, goals and meaning;(4) The need to connect with something bigger than oneself; (5) The need for creativity and stimulation; (6) The need to feel understood and connected; and (7) The need to feel a sense of control.

Viktor Frankl once pondered the question: “What is the meaning of life?” That question is not something you ask someone else; it is one that you must ask yourself. When we no longer have jobs to go to every day we can be thankful for that word-RETIREMENT. However, we also need to reflect and then act upon our God-given basic needs in order to live productive and happy lives. Shalom!

Ojo Del Lago
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